Friday, December 30, 2016
Though the Hyderabad Book Fair was on I decided to go to Abids on Sunday morning since it has become a habit I cannot avoid. None of my friends had come so I was pretty much alone browsing the books spread out on the pavements. Some of the sellers who had set up stalls at the Book Fair were not to be seen. Though I did not find anything at Abids I found one title at Chikkadpally on my way home. I found a crime fiction title that turned to have been made into a movie that was more successful than the novel. I found ‘Bullitt’ by Robert L Pike that was wrapped in plastic. The cover was half torn but I bought it since the price was only twenty rupees.
I hope I'll get to see the movie someday. Another movie of a novel I like very much is 'Get Carter' and this is a movie I also hope to watch soon if I am lucky enough to find either a DVD or something like that somewhere.
After my first visit to the 30th Hyderabad National Book Fair that I made on the second day of the fair I made a couple more visits, on holidays usually because I am working someplace out of Hyderabad. On my second visit to the HNBF I found the English translation of Dharamvir Bharti’s ‘ Sooraj ka Saatva Ghoda’ in the National Book Trust stall. It was titled ‘ The Sun’s Seventh Horse’ and was priced at just twenty five rupees. I picked this title right away. However I had meant to buy another title that I had been looking for- Vinod Kumar Shukla’s ‘Naukar ka Kameez’ the English translation of which was also there in the NBT stall but for some reason I did not find it. I had seen another English translation of the same title but published by Penguin in the book fair but the stall owner where I saw it couldn’t trace it. Since I found that NBT has a stall in OU I decided to by Shukla’s book some other time.
It was a brand new copy but I got it for only hundred rupees. This is another welcome addition to the growing list of short story collections I had picked up this year. I think 2016 stands out for the most number of short story titles that I have managed to find during the year.
Friday, December 23, 2016
For the first time in many years I missed the first day of the Hyderabad Book Fair. I was in Hyderabad but attending a meeting that went on until half past time which was the time the Book Fair closed. So I went the next day. I don’t know if it was the effect of the demonetisation or something else I wasn’t very excited about the Book Fair. And when I entered the fair I was even more depressed after looking around at the stalls. There were less than ten stalls selling second hand books and three fourths of them seemed to be of sellers who are at Abids. I could see only three stalls of second hand books that were from other places. Last year there were more than ten second hand book stalls put up by sellers from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and other places. I did not expect to find many good titles in these stalls but I was wrong. I managed to find a decent haul of five books on my first visit to the 30th Hyderabad National Book Fair.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Though I enjoy being at Abids every Sunday I am not always comfortable with the weather. In the summer it is the heat and in the rainy season, of course, it is the rain that plays spoilsport. My favourite season for the weather is winter that begins here from October and lasts until February. During this period the mornings are sunny and pleasant making it possible to browse for hours together in the open.
I was with my friends and we found five almost new paperback copies of ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ by Sidhartha Mukherjee. I had already bought one long ago but my friends wanted to pick up three copies. The seller quoted an astronomical price but we drove a hard bargain managing to drive him to desperation until he yielded and gave us the books at hundred rupees for each copy.
With this haul I have bought a total of 143 books this year and there are still two Sundays to go not to mention the Hyderabad Book Fair that began yesterday (15-12-2016). My total haul in 2016 will easily cross a hundred and fifty books. Next year I will get rid of an equal number of books because there is no space at home to keep all the books since all my shelves and table are overflowing with books. I hope I will be able to get rid of some books which is one of the hardest things to do if you love books as much as I do.
Friday, December 09, 2016
It sounds too good to be true but almost every Sunday I return home from the pavement book bazaar at Abids with at least one gem. There seems to be no end to the treasures one can find on the pavements at Abids where the booksellers display their wares. The Sunday before last (on 27-11-2016) I found another wonderful title, a collection of short stories, as it happens.
Since the past few Sundays I am finding at least one good short story collection. A couple of Sundays earlier I had found Alan Paton’s ‘Debbie Go Home.’ On the first Sunday of last month I had found ‘Waves’ by Sundara Ramaswamy. The Sunday before last I found a story collection by an author I had been quite eagerly searching for since a long time. I haven’t come across a single title by Katherine Mansfield so far and I was determined that I’d dig out at least one book by her either at Abids or in one of the half a dozen second hand bookstores in Hyderabad.